A look back at International Tea Day


Sustainable production and consumption of tea at the core of yearly celebration

Tea pluckers at BOH’s Sungei Palas Tea Garden in Cameron Highlands

In celebration of International Tea Day, BOH Plantations (BOH) organised an eventful day in our tea centres in Cameron Highlands with various activities to mark the occasion. During the same day and together with the help of Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC), 6,000 tea sampling packs were distributed to movie-goers in 1Utama and Midvalley GSC outlets. BOH also gave out 1,000 tea sampling packs to bystanders near their office in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur to spread the awareness on International Tea Day.

international tea day in KL

The message around International Tea Day has a deeper meaning that is shared by tea producers across the globe.

@bohteamalaysia Happy International Tea Day! Serving you words of wisdom we’ve picked up from tea-making over the years. #bohinternationalteaday #bohtea #boh #cameronhighlands #tea ♬ original sound - bohteamalaysia

While common public perception of International Tea Day centres around the great teas that we all enjoy, the United Nations (UN) designated 21 May to celebrate the tea industry around the world and to raise public awareness of the importance of tea for development, sustainable livelihoods as well as to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 1st International Tea Day was commemorated in New Delhi, India, in 2005 and gradually adopted in various tea growing countries around the world.

Here in Malaysia, BOH Plantations, the nation’s largest tea producer with nearly 100 years legacy of tea making, has always supported the aims and objectives of the UN for International Tea Day.

Jason Foo, CEO of BOH Plantations, said, “International Tea Day is a very important calendar event for the tea industry. With the history of tea dating back 5,000 years, its significance as a lifestyle, cultural and economic force is undeniable. It is also a popular beverage with known wellness benefits.”

Jason Foo, CEO of BOH Plantations

Being one of the world’s oldest and most consumed beverage in the world, after water, tea contributes significantly to global economies as it is a widely traded and exported commodity.

According to a UN report published in May 2022, annual global tea production amounts to over USD 17 billion, while world tea trade is valued at about USD 9.5 billion, accounting for an important source of export earnings.1 Tea cultivation and processing also provides employment and livelihood to millions of families across the globe, from smallholder growers to large tea estates.

Operating under current challenges of market volatility, climate change and the need for continual innovation and product diversification, the tea value chain must be sustainable from tea bush to tea cup to cater to market preferences and demand.

“As one of few vertically integrated tea companies in the world, BOH grows, processes, packs and markets our own brand of authentic, homegrown Malaysian teas. Thus, owning the entire tea value chain allows us to perfect our tea craftsmanship while observing responsible and sustainable tea growing practices that benefit both consumers and the environment,” added Foo.

He shared that BOH’s celebration of International Tea Day over the years has included awareness initiatives at public venues and at its tea gardens in the Cameron Highlands. The welfare of tea workers who work tirelessly to ensure that perfect cup of tea is also given prominence through continual enhancements in their work and living arrangements.

“The UN’s highlight on the sustainability of tea production neatly ties in with our own sustainability focus, ‘BOH, A Cup of Sustainabili-tea’ which will drive BOH’s corporate goal to be a fully sustainable tea grower in the near future,” said Foo.

As part of its 2023 International Tea Day activities, the public is invited to ‘Enjoy A Cup of Sustainabili-tea’ at select GSC cinemas and BOH tea centres in Cameron Highlands on Sunday, 21 May. More details available at BOH’s Facebook and BOH’s Instagram.

Happy International Tea Day 2023 from BOH.

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